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Frazier, Miller Lead Liberty Past Richmond
|Emily Frazier set career highs for points (17) and three-pointers (4) during the Lady Flames' 76-61 home win over Richmond.|
Liberty junior guards Emily Frazier and Reagan Miller combined for 33 points, Tuesday evening at the Vines Center, helping the Lady Flames lead from start to finish in a 76-61 victory over Richmond.
Frazier (career-high 17 points) and Miller (season-best 16 points) combined for seven of Liberty's season-high 10 three-pointers. As a result, the Lady Flames improved to 3-5 with their first home win of the season and just their fourth victory in 24 all-time meetings with the Spiders.
Richmond, which was led by Janelle Hubbard's 14 points, saw its two-game winning streak snapped and fell to 3-5 on the year.
Liberty picked up where it left off during Saturday's come-from-behind win over Savannah State, scoring on its first three trips to the offensive end. Frazier and Mickayla Sanders' early triples helped the Lady Flames open up a quick 8-2 advantage.
Richmond got within two points twice before an extended 25-7 surge by the Lady Flames broke the game open. Miller scored 10 points during the run, going over the 500-point mark in her career in the process. The junior's trifecta from the left wing swished through the net 4:43 before halftime, bolstering the Liberty advantage to 20 points, 36-16.
The Lady Flames' lead got as large as 22 before Richmond scored five straight points, trimming its halftime deficit to 44-27.
Liberty shot well from the field (59.3 percent, 16-of-27), three-point range (60 percent, 6-of-10) and the foul line (100 percent, 6-of-6) during the first half, led by its reserves. The Lady Flames' bench players combined for 25 points and 7 rebounds during the first 20 minutes, contributing to the home team's 22-8 rebounding edge.
Richmond shot 39.3 percent (11-of-28) from the floor in the first half and hit three triples.
All nine Lady Flames who saw playing time in the first half scored, paced by Miller's dozen points.
Olivia Healy, Kristina King and Lauren Tolson tallied five points apiece for the Spiders in the opening half.
Liberty also started the second half well, opening up another 22-point advantage (49-27) on Sanders' second triple of the evening at the 17:09 mark.
Richmond fashioned a 9-0 run, punctuated by Janelle Hubbard's hoop in transition, slicing its deficit to 51-38 with 14:18 to play.
Frazier helped keep the Liberty lead in double digits the rest of the way, scoring 11 of her points during the second half. The Lady Flames went on to win their second game in a row, 76-61.
The Lady Flames shot over 50 percent from the field for the second straight contest, finishing at 51.9 percent (28-of-54). Liberty is now 95-1 under head coach Carey Green when making at least half of its field goal attempts.
Liberty also finished at 58.8 percent (10-of-17) from beyond the arc and 76.9 percent (10-of-13) from the foul line. The Lady Flames more than doubled up the Spiders in both rebounds (47-23) and points in the paint (34-16), while tallying a season-high 33 bench points.
Richmond, which shot 36.2 percent (21-of-58) from the floor, was able to turn Liberty's 21 turnovers into 22 points.
Frazier made a career-high four three-pointers to highlight her career-best scoring output, moving into 20th place on Liberty's all-time list with 52 career triples. She also tied her career high with seven rebounds, distributed six assists and topped the Lady Flames with two steals.
Fellow Texan Miller swished three triples during her 16-point evening, moving into a tie with Megan Frazee for ninth place in program history with 98 career three-pointers.
Freshman Sanders, who made two trifectas of her own, ended up with 10 points.
One day before her 21st birthday, Catherine Kearney tied her season high with eight points, grabbed eight rebounds and tallied a career-best four assists. Katelyn Adams chipped in six points and a game-high nine boards.
For Richmond, Hubbard was joined in double digits by fellow freshman Healy, who totaled 11 points, a team-high seven rebounds and a game-high five steals.
Liberty will begin defense of its Big South regular-season title Saturday at 2 p.m., when the Lady Flames welcome Radford (2-5, 0-1 Big South) to the Vines Center for their 2013-14 conference opener. It will be the 60th all-time meeting between the Lady Flames and Highlanders, and Liberty will aim for its sixth straight victory in the head-to-head series.